Trace reports on every pirate, Marlins player involved

On a very busy Monday (November 29), the Pirates and Marlins made one of the biggest deals of the past month.

Pittsburgh sent Gold Glove wide receiver Jacob Stallings to Miami in exchange for three players: right-hander Zach Thompson and two prospects, outfielder Connor Scott and right-hander Kyle Nicolas.

For the Pirates, it’s the continuation of a massive sell-off of productive talent in the big leagues with years of team control. Stallings won’t be a free agent until 2025. He joins second baseman Adam Frazier, right-hander Jameson Taillon, right-hander Joe Musgrove and first baseman Josh Bell as veterans dropped by Pittsburgh in the past year in as part of a large-scale reconstruction.

The Marlins have been busy in November, signing free fielder Avisail Garcia for a four-year contract and right-hander Sandy Alcantara for a five-year extension.


Jacob Stallings, C
Age: 31

Stalls are further proof of the longstanding adage that catchers develop slower than any other position. He didn’t become an MLB starter until the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season. And it wasn’t until this year, at age 31, that he surpassed 250 plate appearances in one season. Stallings won the Gold Glove this year and have a solid defensive reputation. As a hitter, he’s always been better at the bottom of an order. He makes a decent amount of contact, but doesn’t really drive the ball. As of 2019, he’s been a .251 / .331 / .374 hitter. His career record in home runs (eight) was set this year. Stallings give the Marlins an easy way to pass Jorge Alfaro as the team’s main receiver. The stalls have just reached arbitration and will not reach free agency until 2025.

Related: Check out the top 10 Marlins System prospects entering 2022

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Zach Thompson, RHP
Age: 28

Thompson was a surprise addition to the Marlins’ starting rotation in 2021. A fifth-round draft pick by the Texas-Arlington White Sox in 2014, he was transferred to the relieving box by the White Sox in 2018. He has signed with the Marlins as a minor league free agent and moved to the Jacksonville Triple-A reliever box. In June he was called up to the majors and on his MLB debut made his first start since August 2, 2017. Thompson has rebounded between the Marlins’ box and rotation for the remainder of the season. He succeeded by throwing a lot of cutters. He rarely missed bats but didn’t give up many hard contacts. He fits in as a swingman who can bounce between roles, but in Pittsburgh he may have a greater chance to start.

Related: Discover the Top 10 Pirates System Prospects Coming in 2022

Connor Scott, OF
Age: 22

For a first-round pick, Scott had a slow start to his career, but the arrow started to point in the right direction. He was the 13th pick overall in 2018, but in his first two seasons he showed very little impact at home plate. He came back stronger from the layoff pandemic, which allowed him to drive the ball better. He’s always had strong batting skills, but now he’s able to line balls in space more often. He should be able to stay in the middle of the pitch, and if his power continues to increase he has a chance of becoming a great player, even if he doesn’t have much impact. Scott was scheduled to place 15th in the Marlins’ pre-season Top 30.

Kyle Nicolas, RHP
Age: 22

Nicolas was expected to place 19th in the upcoming Marlins Top 30. The additional 2020 second round pick on Ball State has a faster ball that combines solid speed (93-95 mph and touching 97) with a high spin rate and a flat vertical approach angle, and it generates a lot of oscillations and misfires. He also throws a curve ball, slider, and shift, with the two broken balls showing promise. Its control needs to improve.

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